Oct 21, 2022 - Business

Titans unveil nonprofit investments

A flag with the Titans logo

Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans plan to partner with Tennessee State University academic and athletics programs, invest $5 million in affordable housing and launch a new $2 million small business support program.

Why it matters: The Titans' new community investments were unveiled Thursday and coincide with the franchise's pursuit of a new $2.1 billion stadium.

Details: The Titans' community benefits program is divided into three categories: economic development, neighborhood investments and education.

  • As part of the economic development plan, the Titans will pay all direct employees at least a minimum wage of $18 per hour.
  • The team will create a $2 million fund to provide loans and grants to small and minority-owned businesses in a partnership with Citizens Bank.
  • A 12,000-square-foot community center will be included in the new football stadium. The team will also provide paid internships and adult development programs focusing on real estate and sports venue development.

Yes, and: Neighborhood investments will include the creation of a $5 million catalyst fund to provide grants and loans encouraging affordable housing through community development organizations.

  • The team will also launch a neighborhood business spotlight marketing effort and an awareness campaign encouraging seniors to apply for housing security assistance programs.
  • In their partnership with TSU, the Titans will provide scholarships, job shadowing and professional development assistance to students. The TSU football team will play at the new venue rent-free — the team's home games are currently held at Nissan Stadium — and the Titans will become the corporate sponsor of the annual John Merritt Classic game.
  • There will also be an investment in mental health therapy and training for Nashville's under-resourced ZIP codes.

What's next: Investments in Metro Nashville Public Schools will be unveiled in the coming weeks, the team says.

The other side: The Titans are not entering into a formal community benefits agreement like the Nashville SC ownership did with the nonprofit group Stand Up Nashville. Critics say that makes the community investments unveiled Thursday mere promises.

  • But the Titans say the community investments will come with binding contractual agreements with an array of nonprofit and community partners. They promise to provide regular reports to the mayor's office, the Metro Council and the Sports Authority on the progress of the community investments.

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